Leah Perlongo, Sunapee, NH. Ever been asked “Where are you from?” and the answer they expected was not the town you were born, but a country you’ve never been to? I find it frustrating that we in USA assume that people who look a little different are probably from another country.
Lara Jean DeShayes, Oakland, CA. I was born in Olongapo Philippines to a Filipina mom and French-American Naval seaman. In Oakland, I’m often assumed to be Latina or Hispanic but as I’ve travelled around the world, people often mistaken me for someone of their own race: Turkish in Istanbul, Greek in Athens, Italian in Naples, […]
Kit Robison, Doral, FL. I am most comfortable when the primary language is other than English. People assume I understand when they hear a lack of accent and see my skin but no your cultural logic did not compute in my head.
Susi Matthews, Kansas City, MO. I am 1/4 Navajo plus Cherokee and Mohawk. I am also English, Irish, Scots and German. I LOOK white; my full sister looks Native. I experienced the reactions she got when we were kids on vacation. A small restaurant in Colorado thought she was Native America and refused to serve […]
Jim Downey, Wilmington, NC.
Stephanie Woodworth, Piscataway, NJ. My six words are in reference to how hesitant (in some cases, even terrified) people are to talk to each other when differences are involved. It’s as if even the most well-meaning people become paralyzed at the thought of acknowledging not only our differences, but our collective level of ignorance about […]
Rebecca Zavala, Los Angeles, CA. Well, to start I’m not even white… I get this ALL THE TIME. People assume I’m white or Asian, or a mix of the both. It is not insulting to me now, but growing up it was a little irritating having to continually explain that I am Mexican American. At […]
Oliver Parr, Tuscaloosa, AL. Being white in the state of Alabama automatically means that most people assume the worst. I was raised in the State of California where race truly is not even a topic of discussion. I grew up not looking at the color of a persons skin but how tough it is. I […]
Melissa Weir, Trout Valley, IL. We like to think that we are like every other family, whatever that means. But questions like “are those your real kids” or “what happened to their real parents” make that impossible. Nonetheless we are a close, joyful, and fortunate family.
Daisy Weeks, Colorado Springs, CO. Assumptions, with small grain of truth.
Kristine Johnson, East Troy, WI.
Diane Graves, San Antonio, TX. My husband and I (both Anglo) were driving our adopted daughter (born in El Salvador, adopted as an infant, a U.S. citizen since she was 11 months old) to a guest ranch in Colorado. It was 2004; our daughter was 11 years old. Late on Sunday morning, we stopped to […]
Kimberly, Pittsfield, MA. My father, whom I don’t know, is black and my mother is white. I was raised in a White, Irish family. Growing up, no one in my family looked like me, but I never noticed until ‘Roots’ premiered on TV. I had my son with a white man, so he is one […]
Kevin Moses, Logan, UT. As a 6’3″, young, Black man, at all times I am painfully aware of my presence in a room and the constant strain of worrying about being perceived as threatening is exhausting. I’m incredibly friendly, and the dissonance that comes from people assuming otherwise hurts.
Devon Hughes, Los Angeles, CA. I used to assume NOTHING about someone because of their race – zero. Nowadays, I can’t but help assume someone of a certain shade past mine holds a grudge, carries a judgement, expects special treatment. What happened?? I don’t like feeling this way at all. I am truly starting to […]
My 6 word memoir is about my family because I am Mexican, but my cousins are black and Mexican. Most of my family is Mexican because my mom’s side is all Mexican and so is my dad’s side. But on my mom’s side I have black cousins. Some experiences I’ve had with racism is when […]
Sameese Smith, Philadelphia, PA.
Jasper Little, Chesapeake, VA. A lot of people are also very surprised the way I sound, they say I sound white.
Hilary Forrest, Pasadena, CA. Every single time a person meets me, they’ll assume my race is “white.” That’s where you’re wrong. My nationality is American; my ethnicities are Hispanic as well as Icelandic. But no, of course because of the paleness of my skin or the freckles adorning my cheeks, I always get a, “No […]
Alexis Fink, Altoona, PA. I’m a 6′ female and the most frequent question I’m asked is if I play basketball.
Megan, Keithville, LA. I am a white female and I do have nice things. People always assume that my dad gets me everything. Little do they know, I’ve had a job since I was 15 to be able to buy myself nice things. I pay for my gas, I pay for anything extra I want, […]
Latae´a Dixon, Fridley, MN. Everyone assumes I´m a fighter or tough or reckless because of my size. But they´re wrong.
Gregory Ruderman Valencia, CA In most ways, being Jewish in modern America is significantly easier than at any time in the past, such as when my grandfather got his degree at MIT, something Jews typically couldn’t do in his era, but there are times when the discrimination is more insidious. From the supposed “war on […]
Courters, Bay Area, CA. I grew up in a latin home, of a first generation born parent. By DNA–I am native-american sicilian. I was raised with latin catholic, tibetan, native american, and sicilian culture. As a child, in my desert neighborhood, I stayed dark and it was rarely noticed that I was not “technically” latin […]
Victoria McCord, Cincinnati, OH. Describing myself is always a challenge (in a USA context). I can’t check one simple box of who I am. I’m white. I’m also Metis – an indigenous tribe in Canada. Most people can’t recognize this, and I am flattered when some people can. It is uncomfortable when I tell someone […]
Christina Curiel, Fallbrook, CA. In the early years of my life, I always saw myself as a very ‘lucky’ person. When I became older and learned about institutions, and methodology, and racial diversity, is when I learned that racism is indeed real, and still exists in this culture through conditioning as well as many other […]
Jess, Valencia, CA. My dad was born in Kenya. People then assume he is black, and I do not blame them. However, before I can get a word out and correct them, that he is white, they assume I am part black and look for those black features. I have had people say, “oh I […]
Darius Tornes, Jackson, MS. Every time I go to the store people be keep on eye on me. They follow me around. I’m just trying to buy some now or laters. The people who work at the store tell me to take out my pockets to see if I’m trying to steal things. I even […]
Anthony Whittum, Portland, OR. As I get older (56) racism seems more prevalent or at least more “advertised” by those that hold racist beliefs. Or perhaps as my childhood, young man-hood and middle age fade into the rear view mirror my awareness of all things grows. It seems that racists are most often categorized as […]
Stephen Young, Kansas City, KS. People often do not know what race I am but they assume based on how I look. I am mixed with black and white so that is what most people see me as.
Kassandra Lynn Pasquale, Bonner Springs, KS. I never really liked how people automatically assume that I’m white just because I always really pale. Just because Hispanics usually have a tan complexity doesn’t mean that you can’t be pale. Whenever I told people I’m actually hispanic they got really surprised and didn’t believe me so they […]
Laura Robinson, Jefferson, TX.
Andrew Schlager, Kansas City, MO. “You are holding the binoculars backwards.” We are so consumed by generalized assumptions about race that we fail to see that every individual is different. We see people from afar, just as a person would see looking through binoculars backwards, and make judgments without really looking closely, like a person […]
Kelsey Milinkovich, Akron, OH. People always say I am just ass racist as “everyone else”. They think that I won’t have friends of another race as I and that I will not associate myself with them. One of my best friends just happens to be of another race as I. I don’t judge people based […]
Ellie Warring, New York, NY. I am a 14 year old white female and every single day I am judged for my skin color. Everyone assumes that because I am white I am a Trump supporter, rich, happy all the time, racist, and snobby. They tell me that I have no culture. And I’m tired […]
Some experiences I heard about racism is that Donald Trump said that he was going to build a wall between California and Mexico to avoid all Mexican people because they are all illegal. When he said that it made me feel uncomfortable because I am a Mexican boy and too me it makes me think […]
Back when I was a kid, I used to wonder why or how people are different, why do we all have different races? When I was in preschool, my mom would always tell me not to play with kids that were bad. Those kids were black. She said that they were troublemakers, misbehaved, and that […]
I wrote this six word memoir because I think a lot of people assume that I am just one race or ethnicity rather than someone who has ancestry in a lot of other places than just being white. I think that it is something a lot of people get wrong about me. I believe that […]
R.E.A.L. Talk, High Tech Middle Media Arts, 7th Grade Trailblazer I wrote this six word memoir because people should know that no one should assume someone else’s ethnicity. I also wrote this six word memoir because most people that I encounter think of my ´race´ and tend to assume what ´race´ I am and sometimes […]
R.E.A.L. Talk, High Tech Middle Media Arts, 7th Grade Trailblazer Even if I haven’t really been discriminated against by groups of people thinking they are superior to other groups of people, I feel that as a white person I am being mis-represented by white supremacy groups and neo-nazis. I feel that certain groups of people […]
R.E.A.L. Talk, High Tech Middle Media Arts, 7th Grade Trailblazer Both my parents grew up in Mexico. When people see me they think they have to translate in Spanish for me. It seems everyone always asked “Do you know English?” When I was only six, the stereotypes I was exposed to were “You look Mexican, […]
R.E.A.L. Talk, High Tech Middle Media Arts, 7th Grade Trailblazer Why people often think that they can only be one thing for their entire life is one of my greatest curiosities. One of our greatest powers is the ability to change, to be something different. Choosing to have just one label for the rest of […]
Madison, Laguna Niguel, CA. People usually assume I’m white because that is the color of my skin and I have red hair. My paternal grandmother is first generation Sicilian. My father has dark Italian skin and my mother has light skin. My paternal grandmother has red hair and passed it on to me, so no […]
Elon Race Card Project, Isabella Cannon Room, Center for the Arts
JD, Canada. Being located in Eastern Europe, there is a common misconception that Romania comes from slavic lineage, when historically, and factually we are Latin people. Most Romanians have many Middle Eastern features as well and many people associate Romanians with being gypsies. Western European countries are quite negative and borderline racist when it comes […]
Raquel Villalobos, Sacramento, CA. Most assume that all Mexicans are in the U.S. illegally and that is simply not true. We are in the 21st century, it is time to bring racism and stereotypes to an end.
Alejandra Garcia, Nuevo, CA. I am a 23 year old Latina who works at a public high school. People see me and they assume I’m like Google Translate. Yes I speak Spanish but just because I look Mexican doesn’t mean I’m fluent. People expect me to translate English to Spanish within seconds. It is not […]
Lateefah Torrence, Brooklyn, NY. At the corner bodega, I’m one of those Black Girls who the Middle Eastern owner must watch from his elevated podium behind the bullet-proof glass. On the subway, I’m a Black Girl on WIC who can give Russian ladies directions to the welfare office. In the taxi, I’m the Black Girl […]
Fernando Martinez, McAllen, TX. Some people assume I don’t speak Spanish because I have light skin. But others assume I don’t speak English when they find out I lived my entire childhood in Mexico and English is actually my second language. Little do they know that I can speak both!
Caroline Galvez, USA. Growing up, I always knew that I was of Asian descent because I am Filipino. For some reason, everyone I met who was non-Asian assumed that I was Chinese just because I had the slanted-like eyes as how many Asians do. I noticed that many people who see an Asian person immediately […]
Anonymous, Riverside, CA. People usually judge me within seconds based on the color of my skin. Not only does it hurt, most of the assumptions are wrong. I am proud of my skin color just like everyone should be, but I wish people would not go around making assumptions based on a color. CBUHIS311
Nicole Moriarty, Tallahassee, FL. I’m white and I’ve been living in the south for about 5 years and this crazy thing continually happens to me: white people see the color of my skin and assume, wrongly, that I harbor the same ignorance and racism that they do. Don’t get me wrong, I’m aware of my […]
Melissa Villegas, Temecula, CA. From as far back as I can remember people assume that because I am blonde I have the most fun and have no brains. They seem to assume I am easy to pick-up and easy to make fun of. I cannot tell you how many “dumb blond” jokes I have heard […]
Sean Robertson, Kensington, MD. People impressed with how my wife handles our children have stopped her on the street to ask what agency she was hired through. I suppose it’s an improvement from the Dominican Republic where hotel security tried to prevent me from “bringing in a local prostitute.”
Natilee Pinedo, Chino, CA. Whenever I tell someone that I am a hundred percent Mexican, I always get a look as if I am telling a joke. Just because I have light skin, green eyes and light colored hair people automatically assume I am some type of European. Someone’s race should not be determined solemnly […]
Lynne Moffitt, Virginia Beach, VA. When I was living in Louisville, I came home from work and was mugged when I got out of my car. I had looked around before I got out and this nice young man was walking down the sidewalk. He looked like a typical University of Louisville student which was […]
Heather Simms, Suffolk, VA. Something that has bothered me throughout the years is the immediate perception because I am a middle class white individual that I automatically have some sort of racism integrated into my DNA. I respect and love everyone regardless of color, ethnicity or appearance. Racism is a concern in our society but […]
Tre’zure Glover, Banning, CA. Being an African American woman comes with its assumptions and stereotypes. The main stereotype and assumptions deals with our hair. Many people question why is our hair so nappy? Why is it so greasy? How long does it take to grow? do you wash it everyday? Those are just some questions […]
Yasmin Igal, Seattle, WA. Africa is a huge continent made of 1000s of languages and assuming I speak African because I’m Somali doesn’t makes no sense whats-ever. Born in America and being raised here, children use to ask me that and i thought it was a joke, but sadly it was a legit question for […]
Veronica M Chouinard, Carmel, IN. I would just like to add that my ethnic background is mixed with a lot. My mother was a full blooded Puerto Rican woman. My father was a French Creole of color from New Orleans, LA. Yet so many people ask me if I’m Pilipino. Yet, I kid you not, […]
Madison, West Bloomfield, MI. I don’t have much to say. But I am a white girl, and I have been called white trash before, I walk into a public place and people my age who I have never met before start whispering and laughing at me, I had just happened to hear the phrase “white […]
Crystal Gregory, Kenya. An American by birth, I live in East Africa. Here my neighbors assume because of my skin I am rich, beautiful, or have extra love to share. I offend neighbors when I refuse to have a househelper or a driver or even, really, detest having a security guard or the other ‘helpers’ […]
Kristy, San Luis, AZ. The older I get the less fun it is for me to go places. Constantly getting judged for being Hispanic and worst of all assuming of what I can and cannot do, getting spoken in Spanish by non-Spanish speaking people is what’s worse. Why assume that I cannot speak English? Give […]
Austa H., Sandy, UT. I got my dark hair, skin and eyes from my father’s Italian side of the family. However, I’m a gigantic mix of nearly every European nationality, making me much more Caucasian than Italian. Because of my overall brown-ness, I’ve been fortunate enough to personally see both sides of the “white privilege” […]
Jerrel A. Burgo, Syracuse, NY. The Race Card Project On Location: Syracuse University My race/ethnicity is not easily identifiable for many people. No one’s race/ethnicity should be deemed “easily identifiable”. Humans do not fit into boxes that were constructed for us. We choose, on our own, how we identify. Many times, people will ask me, […]
Alyssa Yates, Orlando, FL. I was going to say something about how it pis*** me off that some people assume that my life has been easy just because I’m white (in some 6 word format), but then I thought about how bigoted I am against rich people. I’m not even a hateful person, and it’s […]
Nayeli Lemus, Hodgkins, IL.
Hillary Buren, Kansas City, MO. As a biracial women growing up in am almost entirely white community I have adapted to addressing my racial ambiguity (I am most commonly mistaken as Hispanic but even have been confused for as Indian) and usually I resort to humor when it comes to this topic. However it never […]
Keith F Thompson, Brookline, NH. Growing up as a white male in generally liberal surroundings, I assumed so much. I assumed I knew what racism looked like, and I assumed I would never witness it firsthand.Seeing the Oprah Winfrey Show do the Blue Eye/Brown Eye experiment on their audience was very revealng to me. Overt […]
Jordi A. Snell, The Netherlands. My mother is Dutch and my father is Moluccan (Melanesian I assume). I don’t exactly know what my father’s race is because alot of Moluccans have mixed race ancestry. All I know is that my father’s skin color is ‘Black’, he has thick curly hair when it’s long, but his […]
Lora McManus, Altadena, CA. Being transracially adopted (by Caucasian parents) comes with a plethora of advantages and challenges. One of the most common misconceptions that I face on a daily basis is the assumption that I was raised in an Chinese family and speak Mandarin, when actually neither of those are true. Stereotypes are one […]
Paulina Persson, San Clemente, CA. People love to make assumptions by skin color. I love to see people’s facial expressions when they find out I was born in Stockholm and that I am half Swedish and Puerto Rican.
Ashley L., Durham, NC. For much of my life, people have asked and assumed that because of the way my sister and I look that we have one black parent and one white parent. While it’s true that we technically have mixed ancestry, both of our parents identify as black, as did their parents before […]
KJStJ, Submitted via Twitter: @MiathePug #TheRaceCardProject
Sophie Kershaw, Knoxville, TN. I was born in England, lived in Denmark for a few years, and my family settled in the US. I speak American to Americans and British to my family. Most people assume I’m American, and people often make me uncomfortable by talking about “people from over there” and debating immigration reform […]
Alice N, TN. I want to feel like my achievements are because of me and not because of my race. However, I’m told that I’ve only gotten to where I am because I’m white. This makes me feel like years of studying into early morning and fighting to get myself noticed out of a sea […]
Anne Rubin, Submitted via: Instagram #theracecardproject
Sierra Moore, Springfield, IL. The picture is one of me as a baby. Since my early childhood until now I’ve been encouraged by people close to me as well as acquaintances to identify myself as one race. I’ve also heard people guess what my ethnic background is (which no one has fully guessed correctly). They […]
Dana, USA. People always assume that if a black women has long hair, it’s not real.
Kaylin Jorgensen, St.Paul, MN. I chose these words on more of a personal level but, a lot of people do not believe me when I tell them I am Native American. People assume that the color tone of your skin defines you. When in reality you are who you are no matter what your skin […]
E. Agardi, American Canyon, CA. Please speak English when in America.
Michael Fredette American Canyon, CA
Maria Grand Rapids, MI I am an American “mutt” with white skin and German/Irish descent. People all of the time assume that just because my skin is white, that I have a bias for white people and a negative stigma against people of other races. That could not be further from the truth.
Derrick Duemler Grand Rapids, MI I have had people tell me that I have it easy because I am white and even that I can land a job easier because so. What is not realized is that I struggle as much as the next person with balancing life. My color puts me nowhere ahead of […]
Cristian Amaya Mountain View, CA Most of the time people in general assume I’m Mexican because of my brownish skin color and because i speak Spanish. I never get offended by it because Mexico is a great country, but I fell is somewhat stereotypical that people assume you’re from there just because of your appearance. […]
Gaby Segalla Washington, DC Most people see me and assume I’m Chinese. As an adopted Asian girl most people think “Oh that girl is probably Chinese.” I don’t take offense to that mostly because I have become used to being asked I’m Chinese. I’ve gotten used to people asking me where I am from and […]
Sabrina Leira Denver, CO Sometimes when people are trying to do the right thing, they end up being wrong. For instance, every year at school, we have to check a box that says what our ethnicity/race is. I, being half Hispanic, sometimes check the Hispanic box. A few weeks later, I get called into the […]
Casi Scheidt Carbondale, IL It’s come to my attention that, throughout my life, others sometimes assume that my racial identity as white means that I can’t or shouldn’t have input into racial issues. More than once, I’ve been confronted by individuals claiming that my whiteness means I’m inherently racist, and that I’m treating “their people” […]
Joan Maxwell Chicago, IL This happened to me in college in 1971. I was an education major, and a black student spoke to our Philosophy of Education class. He asked the students to raise their hands if they felt they were not racist. I raised my hand. I was the only one who raised my […]
Beth Secor Houston, TX This situation I am going to describe happens to me relatively frequently. Another white person, more often than not a stranger or someone I know in passing, will make the assumption that because I also am white, that I too share their racist views. This other white person will lean toward […]
Terri Colorado Springs, CO I find it annoying that in news stories (suspect is an Hispanic man, 6 feet tall), or even generally speaking (I met the sweetest black woman today), people only mention the race or ethnicity of the person they are talking about if said person isn’t white. Is that only true if […]
Meagan Cromer Manassas, VA Since I am white, I always feel that I have to be cautious of what I say when talking about race, because if I say the wrong thing people automatically assume I’m racist.
Steven Moya Colorado Springs, CO My race is very unique. People always ask if I’m Mexican, Asian, or white and I always tell them no I’m Dominican. They assume this because of the color of my skin. Most people don’t even know what Dominican is but they know what Cuban is and what Jamaican is […]
Dominique Brager Mount Hermon, MA I’m white but I’m half European. My father is American and my mother is Belgian and they are totally different cultures. People look at me, hear my accent and assume that I’m all American and I don’t like the ideas the come with that. Americans have somehow managed to get […]
Ra’Chel Mills Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan
Lilliane Webb Ann Arbor, MI Understanding Race Project- University of Michigan